Celebrate the Horror

July 4, 2008

Celebrate the horror of what US children are doing this holiday:

  • Miller ran with the Marines he was with to the scene of the attack.
    “As I ran I saw human pieces…a skull cap with hair, bone shards,” he told IPS during a telephone interview from the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad.
    “When we arrived at the building it was chaotic. There were Iraqis, police and civilians running around screaming. Bodies were being pulled out of the building.”
    “I went in and there were over 20 people’s remains all over the place,” Miller continued, “Of the Marines I jogged in with, someone started to vomit. Others were standing around, not knowing what to do. It was completely surreal.”
    “At that moment I realized this was far beyond anything I’d experienced, and I realized I wanted to focus and make sure I could capture what it felt like, and the visual horror,” Miller explained.
    “I thought, ‘Nobody in the US has any idea what it means when they hear that 20 people died in a suicide bombing.’ I want people to be able to associate those numbers with the scene and the actual loss of human life. And to show why soldiers are suffering from PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder],” Miller told IPS.

A noted photojournalist, Zoriah Miller was embedded with US Marines last week when a suicide bomber attacked a city council meeting in Fallujah between local tribal sheiks and military officials.
Two US GIs and two US civilians along with 20 Iraqis were killed in the incident.
However, Miller ran afoul of US authorities when he ran photos of the carnage on his blog.

  • Miller said the PAO (Public Affairs Officer) claimed he was not allowed, by the embed contract, to show dead or wounded US citizens or soldiers in the field. “I never signed any contract for that,” Miller said.

See and read about the actual event here.

And why are we not shocked or surprised at US military censorship.

The ACLU released documents this week that revealed Decider George’s military is deep in Orwellian country and is working hard to keep it that way.

  • “At every step of the way, the Bush administration and Defense Department have gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.
    “Our democracy depends on an informed public and that is why it is so important that the American people see these documents.
    These documents will help to fill the information void around the issue of civilian casualties in Iraq and will lead to a more complete understanding of the prosecution of the war.”

    “As these files remind us, many charges of war crimes in Iraq have not seen the light of day,” said Michael Pheneger, a retired Army intelligence colonel who is also a board member of the ACLU. “There are many discoveries here that should bring pause to any American who cares about this country and hopes to restore the United States’ respected role in the world. It is time to bring the facts about this war into the sunlight and end practices that go against our laws and national values.”

According to the ACLU story, the US military don’t allow photographers on U.S. military bases from covering the arrival of caskets containing the remains of U.S. soldiers killed overseas.
They paid Iraqi journalists to write positive accounts of the U.S. war effort.
Although the US military invited U.S. journalists to “embed” with military units, they required them to submit their stories for pre-publication review.
They erased journalists’ footage of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, which has started to really mount up.

View the ALCU’s documents here.

And the Pentagon has refused to disclose statistics on civilian casualties.

As of yesterday, 4,113 US GIs have died in Iraq.

And civilians killed in Iraq?
The count ranges from 85,407 to 93,149 up to 654,965 excess deaths related to the war, or 2.5% of the population (from The Lancet magazine) and way-up to 1.2 million deaths (1,220,580), this estimate is the highest number published so far, outnumbering even the death toll of the recent Rwandan genocide.

And one of our most-favorite writers, Rosa Brooks, penned this great July 4th piece for the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, titled The founders rights stuff:

  • This Fourth of July, celebrate by rereading the Declaration of Independence, created by more or less the same crowd who brought us the Constitution, 11 years and one war later.
    Remember it? “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
    Wild stuff! To the founders, “all men” have “unalienable rights” — not just U.S. citizens in the continental United States. (If the founding fathers were around today, Rush Limbaugh and Rudy Giuliani would pillory them as limp-wristed, latte-drinking, soft-on-terror liberals.)

Celebrate the horror of Decider George and the past near-eight years!

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